In the meantime, Suzie, who was a sleepyhead, woke up from a long sleep. The day had progressed well. She stretched her hands upward while yawning. She was about to perform a full high kick with her right foot when she realized in the middle of the process that something was strange.
"Oh, oh! Have I lost something? Why does my foot look naked?" She posed the question to herself, with her right foot half-extended in the air as she had paused her karate movement.
"Oh my goodness! It can't be it. How in the world did I lose my pearl anklet?" She cried out mad.
She lightly hit the head with her right hand, then pulled a small portion of her curly hair disgusted.
She suddenly had a flash memory of her encounter in the woods with the lumberjack.
"Oh, oh! I know exactly where and when my ornament went missing. It surely fell on the ground when I moved back frightened by this gigantic unknown woodsman." She voiced to herself.
She halted her development, got ready, and speeded to the forest.
On her arrival in the woods, there was no one. The lumberjack had departed for Okala village where he intended to visit once again the Sorceress.
Suzie explored the area where her unexpected meeting with the woodsman unfolded. She sought her anklet in the green herbs with thoroughness but could not find it. Despair and wrath took her over. Resigned, she stopped her research and headed back home.
As for Babida, he had exited Ekule through its north gate with the Witch's street in Okala village as his final destination.
He passed through the same arteries he had crossed during his last journey in the locality, then spotted the Sorceress' street. He went in and the same things that happened the first time he set foot occurred again: sudden darkness, a heavy thunder, a ball of light, then the levitating Witch playing a virtual piano.
However this time, there was a big difference. He was expected. So the Witch appeared in her playful mood.
"Black tea or palm wine, Mr. Hercules?" She joked.
"Haha, your Oracle has a lot of humor, I behold. Rather red wine, please! But at a later time." Babida returned the favor.
"What do you hold in your hand? Is that an anklet, a pearl anklet, in fact, a woman's pearl anklet?" She asked the courteous lumberjack who had the jewel in his extended right hand.
"Nothing goes unnoticed to your Oracle. Your Oracle sees everything, hears everything, and knows everything." The logger obsequiously complimented the Witch.
"Hmmm, a lumberjack with refined manners and who knows how to speak to an Oracle, that's not common." The Witch said to him deeply flattered.
"Therefore I will grant your wish and exempt you to pay the ten imperial Bantagi I had demanded." The Sorceress decided while putting her right hand in her black gown.
She took out a short stick which she mystically lit and used to form a circle of light. She moved her hand a little bit back to get momentum and threw with force the circle of light in the atmosphere before she disappeared.
Then like at Babida's previous visit, normal life reasserted itself. The sun shone again. Birds whistled in the sky. Okala's inhabitants invaded the streets once more, children were having fun, and merchants and buyers dealt.
The lumberjack rose and while he was doing so, he noticed a blank white paper on the floor. He pinched it and neared it to his face. Then the image of the eighteen-year-old maiden he had been looking for became bolder and bolder. But this time she was not wearing the pink silk robe. She had put a casual home outfit on and was in a house, moving candidly.
Unexpectedly, to the great dismay of the logger, the image gradually blurred till the young miss could no longer be watched.
Half-disappointed and half-thrilled, Babida ranged the mysterious blank white sheet in the pocket of his white Boubou. Then he hiked back to Ekule village without knowing the whereabouts of the young woman, except that she lived in a house. But where exactly? In which village? Ekule or Okala or maybe Okunde in the east?
"Hmmm...Okunde, I almost forgot that one." The lumberjack addressed himself while he was on his way back to Ekule.
"The Witch did not give me the name of the village where the young maiden lives. She simply left a magical empty white paper. I could see the pretty face of the young woman through it when I approached it close to my eyes. Unfortunately, now I can no longer." He confessed sadly.
"Wait a minute!" He said, talking to himself.
"What if instead of going back to Ekule, I stop first by Okunde? I can simply reorient my path to Okala's east gate. From there, I board a canoe and navigate till Okunde's north gate." Babida reconsidered.
"Yes, that's a very good idea!" He responded to his query and immediately implemented his new plan.
The journey went on without trouble. The canoe captain was nice to him. The river's waves were docile all the way. Crocodiles observed courtesy. And the guardians of the empire's doors were very helpful.
The lumberjack entered Okunde through its north gate as he had schemed. He checked the pocket of his white men's gown to grasp the magical empty white paper. He brought it near to his face, and to his great astonishment, the image of the young maiden reappeared. And like the first time, it became clearer and clearer.
This time she had on her the popular traditional wax-made women's gown, the Kaba. She was wandering across the streets. She walked past Mobu street, Madi street, Kada street, and Sanka street to the grand statue of the reigning Batang Emperor, his Majesty Batang V, the fifth ruler of the Batang dynasty.
Babida had not recognized the streets the young maiden was passing by but his attention was caught when the miss went past the Emperor's statue. It was one of the most famous monuments in the whole empire and it was situated nowhere else but in the center of Ekule village.
"What? So she lives in Ekule." Babida exclaimed, stunned, referring to the young maiden.
"I must go to Ekule right away." He told himself while hasting.
He walked in the direction of Okunde's west gate. From there he stepped inside Ekule through its east door. As he moved forward he glared at a wooden house. It was a chalet. It seemed to him colloquial. He felt like he had seen it already but could not remember where. And then…
"Oh, wait a minute! The magical blank white paper!" He shouted as he was recovering his memory.
"Yes, that's the house I saw in the image. That's the young maiden's hideout." The lumberjack uttered undoubtedly.
He started to stretch his neck, then his feet in an attempt to peep inside the house but it was hermetically locked. There was no opening. He paused for a moment to think about his next move. While doing so, he placed his hands on each of his waists, lowered his head slightly, and glazed the sand on the floor.
Then, for no specific reason, he turned to look in his back and could not believe his eyes. Another house but entirely identical to the previous one. A twin house. The only difference was that the window was open and he could spot from a distance the moving shadows inside.
Like a frog, the woodsman leaped over the tiny fence in front of him, and like a snail, he crawled quietly to the opened window. Yet, he was not tall enough to spy through comfortably. So he took a brick that was laid on the floor and placed it against the house plank wall, then climbed on top of it.
Unfortunately, his weight was too overwhelming for the poor brick which failed to resist and dislocated.
BAMM!!! The sound of the noise he made when he landed hard on his back.
And then an angry voice was heard.